Colombia : the peace process with the FARC is historic and irreversible
Statement by Mrs Anne Gueguen, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
Security Council - 10 January 2018
"After the disarmament and the political transition of that armed group, we have, for a few months, been involved in a crucial phase for the future of the process — the reintegration of ex-combatants." Anne Gueguen
"Thank you Mr President,
At the outset, I too would like to thank the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Jean Arnault, for his briefing, as well as the Vice-President of the Republic of Colombia, Mr. Óscar Naranjo, for participating in today’s meeting. I also thank them for the negotiations and the implementation of the peace agreement reached with the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC).
Despite various obstacles, the Colombian Government has been able, over a few years, to launch an historic peace agreement with the FARC that France also believes to be irreversible. This is an agreement that the United Nations in general and the Security Council in particular have supported. After the disarmament and the political transition of that armed group, we have, for a few months, been involved in a crucial phase for the future of the process — the reintegration of ex-combatants. In the light of the mandate conferred by the Council on the second United Nations mission to Colombia, I would insist on three points.
- First and above all, we welcome the mobilization in recent months of the Colombian Government in order to adopt the necessary legislation to implement the Final Agreement for Ending the Conflict and Building a Stable and Lasting Peace, especially with regard to Special Jurisdiction for peace. We hope that the jurisdiction will have ways to ensure and authorize equitable and independent justice, in keeping with the commitments undertaken when the peace agreement was signed. Whatever the results of the upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections, France calls on all Colombian political actors to embark upon that path.
- My second point concerns security assurances. Although former FARC combatants are relatively well protected within the areas of training and reintegration, France regrets an increase in violence in territories previously under the control of the guerilla forces, particularly directed at human rights defenders and civil society representatives. France welcomes the new measures announced by the Colombian authorities prioritizing the fight against that negative trend.
- Finally, France wishes to stress a key issue for reintegration and the future of the peace process and welcomes the action of President Santos in that regard — access to land and income sources. We do not underestimate the difficulty of this question. However, it clearly constitutes the key to successful economic and social reintegration of former fighters and to the pacification and lasting stability of territories plagued by half a century of conflict.
In conclusion, I would just like to note that the peace Agreement between the Government of Colombia and the FARC has taken place in the arc of history. Its implementation can encourage other armed groups, led by the Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN), to follow suit. In this regard, France hopes that the temporary ceasefire between the Colombian Government and the ELN will be promptly renewed and that the negotiations can help to deliver a historic peace agreement.
Finally, I to would like to commend Ambassador Rycroft and his dynamism in the Council. I wish him every success in his new functions at the head of the Department for International Development."